Illustration by Marsha Heiken
I love Paris . . . it’s a jewel box of treasures, large and small, majestic and mundane, at any hour or season . . . it’s also a place of great inspiration and insight.
A few years ago in a café on the Rue des Ecoles, I was indulging in Parisian watching, a favorite pastime.
An older woman, impeccably clad, sat at a table near mine. Her joie de vivre was obvious as she talked or listened intently to her companion. Here was a woman, I thought, loving her life, happy with herself. How I would love to learn all she had to teach me.
She was the inspiration for my book French Lessons, The Art of Living and Loving Well.
I hope you will enjoy this small bouquet of passages from it . . .
Le Cachet, Style . . .
“Did you know that Marie Antoinette ascended the scaffold wearing two inch heels? C’est tres’ mauvais, it’s very bad indeed to lose one’s head, but to have on the wrong shoes as one does so, that’s unthinkable!”
L’empathie, Empathy . . .
“We put ourselves in another’s place because that’s what love does. Love seeks to understand the beloved for his or her own sake.”
Le Calme, Poise . . .
“I was taught from a very young age that one’s poise is one’s shield . . . a shield of protection that reveals only what one chooses to.”
L’independence, Independence . . .
“If romantically involved, devote yourself to being madly in love, but keep in mind that finding love is no excuse for losing oneself.”
La Curiosite, Curiosity . . .
“Whether we meet them at a dinner party or a bus stop each person we encounter has a story . . . and we, just by being curious, can relax and listen, forgetting all about our own shyness.”
La Sensualite, Sensuality . . .
“Why would a woman not offer to herself what she would bestow on a lover? Who, after all, should enjoy an exquisite piece of lingerie more, she who wears it or he who sees it?”
This book is an homage to Paris herself, the most feminine of cities; to the style and grace of Parisian women; and as a reminder to myself and other women of our own grace and power.
Elizabeth (AKA EJ Gore) in Paris
E.J. Gore is Texan by birth, French by choice, is an author, screenwriter and life coach. Her admiration for women’s power to transform themselves and her love for The City of Light, inspired her to write French Lessons, the Art of Living and Loving Well. She lives in California with her husband Manuel and a Zen Master disguised as a miniature schnauzer, Beatty. Read a chapter at www.frenchlessonstheart.com or on Amazon where it is sold.